(click to enlarge) (artwork courtesy Matt Maloney — mybigmuddy)
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY in 1975 violence marred the largest ever gathering of drum circle enthusiasts at Hippie Hill, inside of Golden Gate park in San Francisco, CA. It stands as the high water mark for ninja on hippie violence in the long standing embitterment between the two factions.
Organized by a local chapter of Moonies, the event aimed to raise public awareness of the discriminatory “shirt/service” policy practiced by hundreds of truckstop diner’s in the American South and Southwest. The day began with a 15 minute group drum beat performed by an estimated 50 participants all using Ashiko drums purchased for them by an anonymous donor rumored to have been singer Pat Boone. The event was to conclude with a celebratory percussive jam led-on by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart who had very recently rejoined the band after a several years hiatus. But mid-way through the day, during an est-inspired bongo jamboree, the event would be indelibly marked by bloodshed.
A covert team of blind assasins known only as “The Invisible Fist” revealed themselves from amid the crowd and deliberately executed 43 members of the drum circle and a local housewife who had heard the rhythms and stumbled into the park by chance. The entire spree of violence lasted only an estimated 12 minutes with none of the perpetrators apprehended.